Two of Albany’s largest fresh produce markets are bracing themselves for this weekend’s Christmas market days, with thousands of buyers expected to attend.
The Albany Farmers Market and Albany Boatshed Markets will open to the public on Saturday and Sunday respectively, each boasting about 26 stalls of local seafood, vegetables, fruit and other wares.
Albany Farmers Market co-ordinator Ian Haines said it had 3000 to 4000 customers in four hours at last year’s Christmas market.
“It can be mayhem at 8am, we’re expecting a big one this year – we’ve had thousands of people come other years,” he said.
“People are as keen as mustard to get their food for Christmas.”
Mr Haines said fruits were popular with the shoppers – cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and peaches – as well as asparagus, with it being the last week it will be available for the season.
“The Mediterranean vegetables like eggplant and zucchini are nice, as well as the staples like potatoes, onions and leeks,” he said.
Mr Haines said for a delicious Christmas meal using local produce, he recommended an entree of yabbies, blueberry vinaigrette and micro-green salad, with a fresh whole fish or whole free-range chicken cooked in a hooded barbecue for main course.
“Green beans are great at the moment, but there are no brussel sprouts in season, they come in later, which can be disappointing for English families,” he said.
Albany Boatshed Markets secretary Karen Petty said the Sunday Christmas market was a very popular event.
“Seafood is a big drawcard, as well as all the fresh produce,” she said.
Punters will be able to buy local fish, oysters, poultry, asparagus, dairy, wine, vegetables, strawberries and other fruit.
Ms Petty said local artisan stalls, such as woodwork and pottery, will also be available for present shopping.
The Albany Farmers Market will be held December 22 at Collie Street, 8am to 12pm and the Albany Boatshed Markets will be held December 23 at Princess Royal Drive, 10am to 1pm.